By Seriki Adinoyi
Plateau State government has denied asking looters to return stolen palliatives as claimed by the Nigerian Police, noting that the position of the Police is not the same as that of the state government.
Speaking in a telephone interview, the state Commissioner of Information, Mr. Dan Manjang said the palliatives belong to the people, and there was no need asking them to return them.
“But we condemn the act of criminality by the people for forcing their way into the warehouse to loot the palliatives. We had the plan to share it to them in an orderly manner like we did when we did with the palliatives bought by the state government.
“We also condemn the hoodlums for attacking and looting government and private properties. That was criminal.”
The Plateau State Government was said to have warned looters if COVID-19 palliatives to return them in the next 48 hours or face the wrath of the law.
The state command of the Nigerian Police had claimed that the state government had given the looters 48 hours to return the loot.
In a statement by the acting Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr. Donboy Peters, the Police had described the looters as criminals, warning them to return the palliatives before Wednesday.
Peters said, “Sequel to the ugly occurrences that bedeviled some parts of the state particularly Jos North and Jos South LGAs, the Commissioner of Police Plateau State Command, CP Edward Egbuka, has condemned in totality the breaking and looting into government warehouses, shops and private houses of individuals by hoodlums and other criminals within Jos and Bukuru metropolis under the guise of #EndSARS protests.
“He has described it as an act of criminality aimed at truncating the tireless efforts of the police and other security agencies on the Plateau. This has led to the arrest of over a hundred persons. He stated that the Government of Plateau State is giving these looters the grace to return immediately, every looted item to the nearest local government office not later than Wednesday 28/10/2020. Anyone found in possession of any looted item after this date will be arrested and brought to book.
“In conclusion, the Commissioner of Police reminded the public that the 24-hour curfew is still in place, and he cautioned the public about disobedience.”
But Manjang has described the position of the Police as “alien to the state government”, adding that “though we had security meetings where we condemned the act of criminality, we did not ask looters to return any loot.”